MEET Sunderland’s cup final baby – who’s been listening intently to almost every round of the Black Cats’ amazing journey to Wembley since his timely birth.
Little Mason Gardner came into the world just hours before Sunderland beat Peterborough United in the second game of the Capital One Cup journey back in September.
The tot, mum Sian Hetherington, 23, and dad Craig listened to the encounter on the radio at Sunderland Royal Hospital and he has since listened to every round of the team’s route to the final, beating Chelsea and Manchester United along the way.
Lifelong SAFC supporter Craig, of Moorside, who shares his name with the Sunderland midfielder, said he hopes his son will be a lucky omen.
The 25-year-old will be among the tens of thousands of Wearsiders cheering on Gus Poyet’s side next month.
“Since he’s been born, I’ve been with Mason for nearly every round of the cup listening to the games on the radio, apart from the semi-final at Manchester United, because I went down to the game,” said Craig, who works for bookmaker Coral.
“It was such a dramatic match and I thought we’d blown it when United scored in extra time.
“But we got through and I’ve got my ticket for Wembley now. I’ve got a programme from every round and I’m going to get one from the final as well for Mason.
“He’ll be watching at home on the day.”